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Goodbye Lullaby
Goodbye Lullaby
Offered by Side Two
Price: £3.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Still just as good as 'Let Go', 28 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Goodbye Lullaby (Audio CD)
Avril Lavigne makes her return after a 4 year disappearance from the music scene, and in this time she'd written Goodbye Lullaby. Lavigne wrote every single song herself and produced 2 of them (the others done by ex-husband and frontman of Sum 41 Deryck Whibley) and you can tell, her style is absolutely unmistakable. Ranging from sweet, rebellious girl kicking off on `What The Hell' to her old school days on `Darlin' which sounds like it's straight off Let Go or Under My Skin. The simple guitar chords show off her - albeit nasal - astounding voice, her range extensive, her passion very much apparent. She keeps throwing us a new image, and Goodbye Lullaby is better than ever. Very different from her first effort but she's evolved with her fans. As Lavigne's fans have grown up, so has she and I think that's partly what makes it so special. The only downsides for me are the intro and outtro tracks `Black Star' and `Alice'. `Alice' was written for the Tim Burton film Alice In Wonderland and is really much too shriek-y for me, definitely not her best. Don't judge the album by what you've heard of her before, she's matured remarkably and her music has done so with her.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Price: £7.99

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is like no other, 28 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bon Iver, Bon Iver (Audio CD)
Trying to describe this album is like describing what water tastes of - impossible. Clichés were thrown around my head "a masterpiece" "hand-crafted by the Gods" but nothing prepares you for Bon Iver's second album, there is nothing I can compare it to & thus it is completely unique. Justin Vernon, pure of voice, master of the guitar and songwriter like no other brings together more than just conventional folk, more than just wailing falsetto echoes, he brings depth, beauty & magnificence in just the opening bars of the epic Perth. Songs named after USA states, some real, some fictitious (Hinnom, TX). The same nonsensical but powerful lyrics from days of For Emma, Forever Ago remain. Vernon isn't about to give up what makes Bon Iver such a phenomenon. Such bredth of instruments are moulded by Vernon, such a juxtaposition from For Emma where he recorded alone in a Wisconsin cabin with a guitar as his only friend. He's struck gold with bass sax, 2 drum kits, countless guitarists, percussion galore and not forgetting layer upon layer of fautless harmony, each spine-tingling note more compelling than the previous. Star track has to be `Beth/Rest', an almost cheesy synth filled 5 minutes of perfect harmonies and general wonder make this one of my favourite tracks of 2011. If you haven't already, check out this albums and you won't regret it.

Mylo Xyloto
Mylo Xyloto
Price: £4.05

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 28 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Mylo Xyloto (Audio CD)
Mylo Xyloto blows everything else of its kind out of the waters, into oblivion in fact. I've never really liked Coldplay if I'm quite honest but I heard `Paradise' and couldn't help wondering "Who an earth is this?!" knowing I'd heard the voice before but never like this. `Paradise' is an anthem, a song born to be sung in a huge arena, echoed by the crowd and screamed by enthusiastic fans. There's no doubt Coldplay have taken to their new style like a duck to water. Chris Martin's voice complimenting the spiky electronica of `Hurts Like Heaven' just as well as the slow, softness of `Up In Flames' which is more like the old Coldplay's `The Scientist' everyone knew and loved (except me). But actually I love `Up In Flames' as it provides an interlude to the balls-y drum beats and synths. `Princess of China' sees a collaberation with pop princess Rihanna, and I must say this is probably my favourite from the album, Rihanna adds a certain something that Martin can't achieve on his own. The female vocals add new depth and it just works. For an album I was extremely sceptical of, it's turned into one of my favourites of all time, not just 2011. My advice? Turn it up as loud as you can and sing along at the top of your lungs.

Blink 182 Greatest Hits
Blink 182 Greatest Hits
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars This will never get old!, 28 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Blink 182 Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Blink-182: immature, punk teenagers (yet now aged 36 - 39 and haven't changed one bit) they make for great entertainment. Blink write hits in their sleep: `I Miss You', `Feeling This', `First Date', I could go on... Tom Delonge's distinctive (whiny & nasal) voice characterises all their music and the Greatest Hits will remind you what really is great about Blink-182. The 4 most punk tracks on the album are at the start: `Carousel', `M+Ms', `Dammit' and `Josie'. Fast-paced, insane drumming coupled with shouted vocals from Delonge and Mark Hoppus this punk inspired rock turns into more tuneful hits such as `Stay Together For The Kids' which has a riff that'll stay with you for days and days. The vocals may leave something to be desired but there's no doubt that Blink-182 are true stars, and their Greatest Hits demonstrates this so very well. If you like punk-rock and memorable riffs, you will adore Blink-182's Greatest Hits as it's absolutely full of them! An album that'll never get old, I don't see how anyone could regret buying it.

After The Fight
After The Fight
Price: £5.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 28 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: After The Fight (MP3 Download)
Not Advised (now called Natives*) are very much part of the commercial pop-punk revolution started by the likes of All Time Low, You Me At Six, Boys Like Girls (I could go on, and on, and on...) But much like the forgettable smaller bands that have been and gone (Octane OK, Jodie Has a Hitlist etc etc) Not Advised are solid, competent musicians who produced an EP worth 10 of most artist's albums. There's not one crappy track on this 7 song EP which is suitably impressive. It all kicks off with `A Red Light Situation' - a convincingly strong opener which demonstrates Not Advised's extensive talent at producing solid hooks with conventional yet clever harmonies.

Track 3: `The Hope Killed The Hype' completely sinched the deal for Not Advised with me. Distorted guitar chords as expected from any pop-punk boyband, but frontman Jim Thomas' voice carries so well it's hard not to get caught up in the song. The words are set across the music creating an interesting cross rhythm which is seldom seen in pop-punk. A fantastically catchy hit that really stands out from the rest for me.

`The A.R.K.' begins with a rough but intricate guitar riff and hooks galore, singing `We made it this far on our own, so tell me are you with me?' - hopeful words from a band trying to make it without a huge record label supporting them (or stealing their money). 'Jane Says Left', `The Winner' and `The World's Not Ready' all contain huge choruses and are filled with `woah-oh's which only add to the charm of the Southampton boys that make up Not Advised.

If you're sceptical about pop-punk or just want to know a band of the genre who aren't just one-hit wonders, lose yourself in Not Advised - it's not hard!

*Not Advised announced in 2012 that they're changing their band name to Natives and will release their debut album under that name in 2012.

Best Intentions
Best Intentions
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Best intentions, but definitely not the best, 28 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Best Intentions (Audio CD)
It all starts with a fade, a hook from Track 10 `Better Luck Next Time' heard echo-ing in the background before `Rumor Mill' kicks off. Arpeggiated guitar and your standard 4/4 beat drums mixed with Paramore-esque vocals from Tay Jardine may get you thinking We Are The In Crowd are just like all the rest. Well, you're probably right. There's just something I can't resist about them. Male vocalist/guitarist Jordan Eckes' vocals provide a mellow lower layer of sound which helps neutralise the extremely saturated sweetness of lead singer Tay Jardine's.

`Exits and Entrances' stands out for me, it has an extremely strong hook, the words are set unusually to the melody and this makes for interesting listening. Don't get me wrong it's not the best in the world and there's no doubt there'll be better from another band. `Kiss Me Again' is your standard pop-punk beauty: thumping drums, distorted lead guitar, predictable melody and lyrics laced with tales of love. Nothing special but of its genre it's a good song. We Are The In Crowd aren't out to change the world with their music, just have fun and create music that people like. If you like All Time Low, you'll love We Are The In Crowd (think huge fanbase of 14 year old girls with sweepy fringes and eyeliner that looks like it's been shovelled on). They're not amazing like some claim they are, but hey, they're good & you've gotta give `em that.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2014 9:27 PM BST

Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Twin Atlantic - giving rock a whole new face, 28 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Free (Audio CD)
Formed in 2007, Scottish lads Twin Atlantic were supported by Kerrang! as babies and grew to land support slots with fellow Scots Biffy Clyro. Aswell as this they've even supported Punk giants Blink-182 (and are doing so again this year) - upon reading this I knew they had to be good, I just didn't realise how good. I picked up Free only a few weeks ago after missing the hype around its release (and thinking they were `just another band'). Smacked full in the face by Sam McTrusty's extremely strong Glaswegian accent I sat back in my chair and continued to listen, eyes fixed on the screen, barely breathing.

`Time For You To Stand Up's triumphant power chords present a confident, passionate band and lead guitar's background melody is so cleverly crafted it leads you yearning for more - hanging onto their every word. As he sings `I need you to believe in me' there's no doubt everyone listening does.

`Yes, I Was Drunk' has the most beautifully sincere opening riff, and raw, vulnerable vocals that make one hell of a song. With every melodic repetition a new layer is added: a bass riff, a strumming of electric guitars, modest drums. Definitely a pick-me-up or a song to cry to all rolled into one: sad without being depressing and melody victorious enough to put a smile on your face.

From the unrefined to the clean produced funfair feel of `Dreamember', sombre lyrics are disguised with a jaunty tune sure to stay with you for the rest of the day. No one can deny Twin Atlantic know how to write hooks & this is one of their best. Alongside title track `Free' which has a pre-chorus to rival the likes of Blink-182 easily, lyircs `Where's your passion, where's your fire tonight?' provoke emotion from the hardest of souls, rallying us up for a fight. Twin Atlantic even manage to throw in a credible instrumental in the form of `Serious Underground Dance Vibes' and it works, it does!

Aswell as their older more die-hard fans, Twin Atlantic seriously broke into mainstream with Free, making it to number 5 in the UK Rock charts last year. If you ask me it should've been higher, it's an outstanding album which was made even better live on their 2012 tour.

Happy to You
Happy to You
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £3.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy To You makes me happy, 28 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Happy to You (Audio CD)
For someone who grew up to the sound of Girls Aloud and Busted, Miike Snow is fresh, new, something I haven't heard before and it's magical. Not so much a fan of their debut self-titled effort, I absolutely adore Happy To You.

The beginning of `Enter The Joker's Lair' is captivating, the strange effects sucked me in. It's floaty and reminds me of an ice-cream truck or fairground ride, with arpeggios galore it's enchanting. So sickly sweet it's ridiculous but there's a darkness behind Miike Snow that is just waiting to be uncovered. `The Wave' uses distorted vocals, basic piano chords and a steady drum beat - this simplicity works so well and is a trademark of this new album. The falsetto `oooh's create a hook that's impossible to ignore & the charm of the distortion is irresistable. Not the best lyricist in the world, Miike Snow makes up for this in pumping electronica and fun music. `God Help This Divorce' is dark and moody but at the same time it's alluring and the chorus echo `She was a beauty queen, but I held her down' is beautifully sung.

`Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)' is by far my favourite from Happy To You - the chorus melody is addictive and futile to resist. Perfectly constructed and an unmistakable stand-out track from the album - definitely a hit you'd see hundreds jumping to at a gig. `Black Tin Box' features Lykke Li (a swedish singer-songwriter) but this song is weak & her sultry vocals don't do a whole lot for an already average song.

Overall this album may not have the best floorfillers or the most innovative electronica you've ever heard, but it's pretty damn good. Miike Snow has crafted a fantastically ingenuitive collection of hits, proving to be my favourite album of 2012 so far.

Diamond Mine
Diamond Mine
Price: £11.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful, 28 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Diamond Mine (Audio CD)
When this album was released I had an impatient listen and dismissed the album on the account of being `boring'. How wrong I was. While we're told never to judge a book by its cover, the plain, rustic-looking album art we're presented with mirrors the album perfectly. It's folk at its best and it's a real gem, hard to find these days.

Diamond Mine is a resting place - an old friend to curl up to when you're feeling low. Its minimalist approach include sounds of the sea and the calming ambience of sweeping electronica (Jon Hopkins' contribution to the album) which make the accordion sounds and sparse guitars all the more enthralling. Kenny Anderson (a.k.a. King Creosote) has the most perfect voice for Diamond Mine - captivating the listener with the strong Scottish accent and delightful vocal ornaments. This 7 track album took King Creosote and Jon Hopkins 7 years to complete, totally unrushed and this really shows. The songs speak for themselves, there's no overcomplication and its a beauty to behold in its entirety. As Jon Hopkins remarked in an interview, Diamond Mine is more of a `complete experience' than a load of hit singles thrown together and it really works. `Bats In The Attic' has to be my favourite, the harmonies send a shiver up my spine and the mysterious female vocals add a new depth to an already outstanding album.

Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm
Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm
Price: £13.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection in 10 songs, 28 Aug. 2012
For ages I avoided Benjamin Francis Leftwich, presuming that he was just another pretentious Englishman with no real talent (and who could blame me with a name like that!) But, after I saw he was added to the Reading bill I decided to give him a listen, and I'm so glad I did. At only 22 Leftwich is one of the most talented singers around and his songs are full of character and feeling. Easily mistaken for soppy love songs the lyrics carry genuine meaning and really reach out to those listening (When the stars are the only things we share/Will you be there?)

Leftwich's smooth, unblemished whispers coupled with the beautiful tone of his acoustic guitar and occassionally an accompanying female voice (particularly prevalent on `Atlas Hands') make for a the perfect chill-out album. `Box of Stones' is my personal favourite - relaxing and down to earth & yet his voice still sends shivers down my spine (even after about 50 listens). The only gripe I have is that the songs seem to all blend into one, making it hard to distinguish one from another. However, for me, this in no way detracts from the grace & elegance of the perfect album that is Last Smoke Before The Smokestorm.

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